Britney Spears’s legal team, led by her attorney Mathew Rosengart, has meticulously filed every instance where the singer believed she had been taken advantage of financially during her 13-year-long conservatorship. As the public now knows, the conservatorship was controlled and overseen primarily by her father, Jamie Spears.
The singer filed her motion on January 14, detailing her accusations against her father after he demanded Britney continue to pay his legal fees despite being suspended in July from his role as Britney’s conservator and the conservatorship being dissolved on November 12. He argued in his court papers that he engaged in “no wrongdoing.” Rosengart had called Jamie’s request “morally abominable.” In the court papers, he said Jamie should use the money he already paid himself from Britney’s estates to pay for his legal bills and that if he has already spent that money, he should hire a less expensive lawyer.
“Mr. Spears has stated that he loves his daughter, but this is not what a father who loves his daughter does,” said Rosengart in the documents. “The vultures continue to circle.”
In the extensive court papers — one document alone totals 256 pages — discussed at Wednesday’s court hearing before Judge Brenda Penny, Britney detailed her numerous allegations against her father and those she claimed were involved in surveillance and management of her person and estate.
At the hearing, Jamie’s attorney, Alex Weingarten, called the allegations in Britney’s documents “fake or taken out of context.” He urged the court to unseal Britney’s medical records, saying there is information there that would “demonstrate that there is no evidence to these allegations.” Judge Brenda Penny did not make a ruling on Jamie’s request at the court hearing, and the matter will likely be addressed at the next hearing, set for July 27.
Due to the volume of accusations of “financial mismanagement,” here’s a rundown of Britney’s accusations, which include Jamie’s failed cooking show, questionable Tri Star deals, and missing millions:
Britney accuses her father of enriching himself, raking in more than $6 million from her estate during her conservatorship.
In addition to being paid $16,000 a month for his role as Britney’s conservator, Jamie also received a percentage of his daughter’s tour gross revenues. According to accounting done by Britney’s attorneys, Jamie’s management company earned on average $484,000 each year during the 13-year conservatorship and in one year, 2011, as much as $1.8 million. (In 2011, Britney released her seventh album, Femme Fatale, and an accompanying short documentary on MTV.) Court documents argued the arrangement “allowed him to profit directly from Ms. Spears’s labor and incentivized him to maximize Ms. Spears’s output,” resulting in an exhausting schedule and forced “endeavors,” including her Las Vegas residency.
She claims her father engaged in abusive and bullying conduct.
Britney testified herself that she was put on lithium when she was too exhausted to perform. “As she also testified, due to her father’s role in her life as conservator, she felt ‘traumatized,’ could not sleep, and cried every day,” according to the court papers.
Sherine Ebadi, a forensic investigator with the Kroll firm and a former FBI special agent, conducted a thorough investigation into Britney’s estate accounting during the conservatorship at the request of Rosengart. Ebadi, who previously served as the lead agent on the Department of Justice’s investigation into Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, interviewed Britney’s former music director, Marc Delcore, who worked closely with Britney on both the Circus tour and the Las Vegas residency. He told Ebadi that Jamie “worked his daughter to the bone, and she was often and understandably exhausted from the workload.”
Britney claims Jamie engaged in self-dealing and billed the estate exorbitant expenses.
Britney’s legal team accused Jamie of using his daughter’s money and influence to leverage a career as a cook “by pitching a television show called Cookin’ Cruzin’ & Chaos With James Spears.” Rosengart said Jamie
“diverted personnel from Britney Spears’s tour to help him and retrofitted a tour bus from which he could travel, cook, and serve food.” Britney’s former music director Delcore told Ebadi that Jamie enlisted his help in creating a promotional reel for his pilot cooking show, a request Delcore felt he couldn’t deny, and that he was not paid for his services.
Britney’s legal team also contended that Jamie used her money to pay his personal living expenses for a Kentwood, Louisiana, warehouse owned by Britney where he resided for a time. Ebadi said she uncovered through forensic accounting that a company called Advanced Multimedia Partners, owned by Britney’s sister Jamie Lynn’s husband James P. Watson III, received $9,000 of Britney’s funds for improvements and repairs to the warehouse. Ebadi also discovered Jamie billed Britney’s estate $1.5 million in expenses for the upkeep of her Kentwood home, an amount that was between two and three times the value of the house, “with almost $1 million of that amount ostensibly spent on ‘repairs and maintenance.’” More than $178,000 of the money was paid to Advanced Multimedia Partners.
The court filing also claimed that Jamie purchased Britney’s childhood home from her for $56,000 but later sold it for $275,000.
Britney’s legal team alleges that Jamie engaged in financial and business mismanagement with Tri Star.
Ebadi said in her declaration that in 2008, after consulting with Lou Taylor, Jamie petitioned the court for the creation of the conservatorship, then installed Lou Taylor’s company Tri Star Sports & Entertainment as Ms. Spears’s business manager. According to reporting in the New York Times, this was after Jamie accepted a $40,000 loan from Tri Star. Ebadi said that “based upon Kroll’s analysis of data made available by Tri Star via QuickBooks, Mr. Spears awarded Tri Star multimillion-dollar commissions and fees from his daughter’s earnings.”
Ebadi said the arrangement between Taylor and Jamie created an ethically conflicted arrangement. After Britney stopped performing in 2019, Jamie granted Tri Star’s request to receive a $500,000 fee, as the company could no longer collect revenue from Britney’s performances per the original deal. Ebadi reviewed an email Taylor sent to Jamie on November 12, 2019, where she asked him if he would approve that, going forward, Tri Star would be paid 5 percent or $500,000 per year, whichever was greater, and Jamie wrote back, “Approved.”
Ebadi stated in her declaration that “payment to Tri Star of a percentage of Ms. Spears’s earnings” created “a perverse incentive for Tri Star to maximize Ms. Spears’s work output, even if doing so was not in Ms. Spears’s personal best interests.”
Britney’s team alleges her estate paid legal bills unrelated to her conservatorship, totaling almost $30 million.
Ebadi also stated in her declaration that Jamie billed his daughter’s estate for his own legal fees related to his 2019 altercation with Britney’s son, his then-13-year-old grandson. Jamie also sought payment of $540,000 for fees related to dealing with the media and billed Britney’s estate for efforts to oppose the Free Britney movement, despite the fact that the fans did not pose a security threat to Britney. In addition, Edabi stated in Britney’s court papers that Jamie paid Lou Taylor’s personal legal bill stemming from her filing a civil case against a Free Britney fan.
Britney’s legal team alleges that Jamie deprived his daughter of fundamental civil liberties, including invasion of privacy.
Rosengart’s investigator said an employee from the Black Box Security firm was paid to monitor and capture Britney’s text messages, including communications with her attorney, confirming a New York Times report from September 14. The former Black Box employee, Alex Vlasov, said he was working at Black Box in 2013 and was tasked with installing a hidden app on Britney’s phone that would capture all her text messages, phone-call logs, notes, and app activity. He also claimed to have installed software that captured phone conversations. Vlasov said that Jamie would “on occasion ask Black Box to send him specific items from Ms. Spears’s iCloud, such as therapy notes or text messages.” He was especially interested in “his daughter’s attorney-client communications.”
Ebadi said she corroborated that Black Box placed a secret listening device in Britney’s bedroom. Rosengart said the Black Box firm was ultimately paid around $6 million from Britney’s estate for its services.
Britney’s legal team alleges that Jamie monitored and removed individuals who were close to Britney but not loyal to him.
Jamie “sought to silence individuals who spoke out against him or the Conservatorship,” Ebadi concluded after her investigation. The alleged individuals removed included Britney’s childhood friend Felicia Culotta, her former nanny, and her former wardrobe coordinator, among others. Vlasov told Ebadi that anyone on Britney’s security detail who was sympathetic to her or questioned any of the extreme measures was also removed.
Vlasov also told Ebadi that Black Box obtained phone records for Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, and Britney’s masseuse to see if they were talking to the media, and collected GPS “ping data” on certain individuals, including Britney’s former romantic interests, to keep track of their exact locations.